Spring 2005 ENK Children's Club Show: The Winner's Circle

Walking through the Spring 2005 ENK Show held in the Javits Center from October 17-19th, James and I were struck by the number of exciting newcomers exhibiting great new collections. To acknowledge budding designers, we've decided to add a feature this season, a "Best in Show" acknowledgment for the newcomer whose collection shows the most promise.

We based our selection on three qualities we feel are necessary for an emerging company to be successful. The first is originality. We looked for a line that communicated the designer's sensibility in a way that seemed personal, not fad driven. The second element was cohesiveness. The collection we chose, or groups within that collection, had to be styled so that the pieces were easy to mix and match. And, the colors the designer selected were an important consideration. A designer with a color sense that was a little outside the norm, yet still saleable, was our ideal. And third, we wanted fine craftsmanship. The manufacturing of each piece had to be top notch.

While every designer in this roundup is a winner, our "Best in Show for a Newcomer" award goes to Stephanie Scarpulla whose company, Bluebird, met our criteria for excellence.

Congratulations, Stephanie. Bluebird trilled a happy song of sass and good taste. We know we'll see your collection everywhere!




DESIGNER: Stephanie Scarpulla

Sizes: 2-6; Wholesale prices: $12-$42

Stephanie Scarpulla's wonderful debut collection, Bluebird, wins our "Best Newcomer" award for Spring 2005.

The styles and fabrics of the 1920's through the 1950's influence San Francisco-based Scarpulla. Her first collection is diminutive - just 16 pieces that effortlessly coordinate. She has reproduced the small-scale dots, quiet florals and vibrant paisleys found on vintage feed sacks of that period. Each print, exclusive to the Bluebird collection, finds its way onto modern, cap-sleeved tops, no-collar shirts, and simple, pullover dresses. She mixes the prints with striped seersucker and solids for a look that manages to be elegant, not busy. With a nod to this season's must have detail - the floppy flower - Scarpulla adds a twist: her "corsage" is soft, striped seersucker that looks as if it belongs to the jacket, T-shirts and skirt it adorns, instead of a fussy add-on.

Outstanding Pieces: The 3/4-length Puffed Sleeve Jacket. The striped seersucker lends a note of prairie sweetness, but the narrow fit, three-ribbon tie closings and "corsage" gives the piece a contemporary edge. The jacket easily mixes with any skirt, pant or short in the collection, and is a no-brainer over jeans. The Ruffled Skirt in dotted cotton voile edged in red, is fully lined and another great mixer. The skirt is as chic with the jacket as it is with a T-shirt or sweater.

35 Cumberland Street

San Francisco, CA 94110

Tel: 415-206-1107

E-mail: info@bluebirdcollection.com





DESIGNER: Marie Eve Demers

Sizes: 3-24 months; Wholesale prices: $8-$22

Cotton knit layette sets are a staple in most children's boutiques. This new collection gives parents an elegant option to the bread-and-butter gift ensemble.

Outstanding Pieces: Mothers of any fashion persuasion will flip for the bright turquoise serged-edges and the simply drawn rose on this creamy-soft layette pairing.

865 Loma Verde Avenue

Palo Alto, CA 94303

Tel: 650-704-1890

E-mail: contact@huggabebe.com





DESIGNER: Suzanne Foucault

Sizes: 3 months -12; Wholesale prices: $9-$26

Great detail defines the sportswear groups from this Canadian newcomer.


Outstanding Piece: I doubt a child will appreciate the hand stitching, random puckered detail and uneven hem on this loose, comfortable cotton A-line, but their mothers will.

754 Chemin de la Montagne, Suite 300

Mont Saint-Hillaire, Quebec J3G 4S6 Canada

Tel: 450-464-7171

E-mail: info@blubyblu.com




DESIGNERS: Patty Potter and Greta Hallgren

Sizes: 6 months-3; Wholesale prices: $10-$58

There are two schools of designers working with real vintage materials - the first respects the beauty of older textiles by keeping their garments simple and adding few, if any, embellishment; the second can't layer on enough patches and trims. Eloise & Etienne falls into the first category.


Outstanding Pieces: The halter-top that exposes an expanse of a girl's back and the matching wide leg pants. The design is all about showcasing fabulous prints and that's the way it should be.

3833 Tulsa Way

Fort Worth, TX 76107

Tel: 817-377-1433

E-mail: greta@eloiseandetienne.com





Sizes: 2-14; Wholesale prices: $13-$21

Outstanding Pieces: A less imaginative designer would take the playful red cotton printed with seahorses and use it as is for a garment. Not Hersh. She outlined the shapes with white beading and turned her skirt into art. Also loved her novel spin on the now tired toile - a cream-on-orange palm tree pattern printed on Jersey (exclusive to her line) used for a 20's style dress. The brooch made of shells that sits on the dress' hip is just the right touch. (6 & 7)

6205 El Camino Real Drive

Carlsbad, CA 92009

Tel: 760-804-8500

E-mail: briana@surya.com





Sizes: 12 months-10; Wholesale prices: $23-$110

Check out this collection if you're on the hunt for gorgeous sportswear and charming knitwear with a strong European feeling.


Outstanding Pieces: I don't know what I love more - the 1920's style, double-breasted coat and loose, high-waisted overalls, or the gorgeous silky tweed fabric and amazing craftsmanship of this set. Not a bad predicament.




DESIGNER: Lucy Sykes Rellie

Sizes: 3 mos. - 4; Wholesale prices $19-$55

Does the name sound familiar? Lucy is Marie-Claire's editor-at-large and society girl, sister Plum, is the author of the just published "Bergdorf Blondes." Sykes Rellie used her well-trained eye to create a tiny collection of kids' wear that is classic with a touch of whimsy.


Outstanding Pieces: The full skirt and scalloped hem of this red cotton dress opens like a flower. Add the red espadrilles that tie around the ankles with bright pink ribbons and you've got an adorable look going on.

95 Horatio Street, #314

NY, NY 10014

Tel: 212-242-3136

E-mail: lucy@rellie.net




DESIGNER: Jo Anne Yamamoto

Sizes: Infants(12-24mos.) to Girls 7-14; Wholesale prices: $14-$32

Mimi & Maggie is a big, print driven collection with several well-coordinated groups.


Outstanding Piece: Her "Springtime Flowers" dress begins with a bodice embroidered with a spray of soft rose-colored flowers. The full, embroidered skirt falls from the empire waist into handkerchief points, some detailed with gorgeous lace. Just lovely.

1425 Grande Vista Avenue

Los Angeles, CA 90023

Tel: 323-264-0200

Email: mimiandmaggie@hawaiipacific.com





DESIGNER: DDC Designer Labs 

Sizes: 2-20; Wholesale prices: $12-$25

This new boys' collection has a hip, vaguely Asian vibe that should appeal to Jackie Chan fans and any boy into action films.


Outstanding Pieces: The dragon print on the comfortable knit shirt is cool without trying too hard, and the soft denim pants have enough pockets to store all the odds and ends a boy needs for a week.

1407 Broadway, Suite 1920

NY, NY 10018

Tel: 212-279-8889, Ext. 111

E-mail: paul@amcontinentalfashion.com



DESIGNER: Lauren Gropp Lowry

Sizes: 6 months-4; Wholesale prices: $5-$25

A boutique could create a toddler boys' department using only Gropp Lowry's collection and make a fortune. She works in a limited color range of neutrals sparked with teal and deep red so that every piece mixes and matches. The garments are classic with a playful 1950's influence, and items like the "Cuban Shirt," a scaled down Guyabara, can take a kid from the playground to dinner. What a great collection!


Outstanding Pieces: The zippered-front Terry sweatshirt, the Cuban Shirt and the clam diggers: easy, practical and charming.

8-10 West 19th Street, 10th Floor

NY, NY 10011

Tel: 917-922-9327

E-mail: lauren@mrtiny.com




DESIGNER: Shilav design team

Sizes: 6 months-4; Wholesale prices: $5-$25

Can boys ever have enough stylish, casual sportswear?


Outstanding Pieces: You don't need a safari or even a trip to the Bronx Zoo to find amazing animals. Shilav's T-shirts are printed with richly colored beasts. Add coordinating, easy-fit pants and you've got casual gear for boys with style.

18750 Oxnard Street, Unit 411

Tarzana, CA 91356

Tel: 818-343-9174

E-mail: gil@shilavusa.com





DESIGNER: Susan Sharp Marino

Sizes: 2-16; Wholesale prices: $25-$75

No, this 40-year-old company isn't in the wrong roundup. The original company was sold, and Spring 2005 is the first season Susan Sharp Marino is designing the company's signature special occasion dresses.


Outstanding Piece: You know about the glass slippers, but did you ever wonder what Cinderella really wore to the ball? She charmed the prince in this icy pale blue and white dress with its full skirt and angled tiers.

112 West 34th Street, Suite 802

NY, NY 10120

Tel: 212-629-6588

E-mail: Susan@Dorissa.com




DESIGNER: Carrie Lundell

Sizes: 3 months - 6; Wholesale prices: $24-$45

This new collection of better special occasion pieces are classic with a fresh twist.


Outstanding Piece: Little details like the tiny sage colored flowers on the bodice, the pick-stitching along the grosgrain ribbon and the frothy skirt on this sweet classic dress are as refreshing as a scoop of sorbet.

1107 West Laurel

San Antonio, TX 78201

Tel: 210-733-3961

E-mail: charles@cicastro.com





DESIGNERS: Margaret de Haas and Jeanette van Leersum

Sizes: 12 months-8; Wholesale prices for robes: $21.60-$27

This collection of Terry bed, bath and sleepwear features modern, easy shapes and cheerful colors.


Outstanding Piece: Talk about multi-tasking. The light weight, brightly colored, hooded robe works as a warm coverup after a dip in the ocean, as well as a comfy wrap following a long soak in the tub.

Mooi LLC

3000 N. Sheridan Rd., Suite 15E

Chicago, IL 60657

Tel: 773-665-7748

E-mail: info@mooiforkids.com




DESIGNER: Deneen O'Neill

Sizes: 3 months-6 years; Wholesale prices: $11-$14

I've seen enough T-shirts, especially with a rock 'n roll vibe, to last a lifetime. But something about the glittery circle and clean lettering on O'Neill's Peace Monkey T-shirts appealed to me.


Outstanding Piece: The cocoa colored lap-shouldered T-shirt. The word "snuggly" in the center of that glittery fuchsia circle adds a touch of irony.

Tel: 323-663-5985

E-mail: deneen@peace-monkey.com




DESIGNER: Erica Janke

Sizes: 6 months-6 years; Wholesale prices: $10-$34

Tattoos for the under 18 set are okay when they're worn on a cool black T-shirt.


Outstanding Pieces: You don't even need a bow on these attractive gift boxes. Inside there's a long sleeved T-shirt for mom or dad, a stocking cap and a black onesie for girls or boys that sport "tattoois" - girls get a heart; the anchor is for boys.

9206 Sommerland Way

Austin, TX 78749

Tel: 512-301-1775

E-mail: Erica@tattooi.com





DESIGNER: Mary Morrison

Sizes: NB-6 months; Blankets are available in three sizes. Contact manufacturer for details.

Sometimes T-shirt sets with slogans are just too much of a good thing. When you want a gift that's classic and simple, turn to Morrison's sweet, Asian-inspired layette sets and lovely, satin trimmed blankets.


Outstanding Pieces: The T-shirt with the silk jacquard pocket and coordinating bloomers, and the footsie one-piece printed with good luck symbols. Both make delightful shower gifts.

2512 North Greenway Drive

Coral Gables, FL 33134

Tel: 786-552-1311

E-mail: info@moon-cakes.com




DESIGNER: Brecht Olshoorn

Sizes: Infant-14; Wholesale prices: Clothing - $12-$59, Bedding and room accessories - $6-$179

Does Room Seven remind you of the wonderful Oilily line? It should. Olshoorn is the daughter of Oilily's founders, Marike and Wilhelm Olshoorn, and she's inherited her parents' designing DNA.


Outstanding Pieces: The embroidery on this bedding collection illustrates the Princess and the Pea fairy tale. The quilt is gorgeous, and the embroidered sheer canopy, scattered with sparkling beads, will make a little girl feel like royalty.

Amy Barrow, USA Agent

550 North Kingsbury, #501

Chicago, IL 60610

Tel: 970-948-1949

E-mail: amy@room7usa.com





DESIGNER: Little Missmatched design team

Sizes: 6-11; Wholesale prices: $2, $5 and $10

I don't know if the idea behind this line is pure lunacy or the work of brilliant minds, but I'm leaning toward the latter. The concept: stop boohooing over missing socks and start thinking of matched sock-sets as a thing of the past. A buyer purchases a package of one, three or seven printed socks, then buys more socks that don't match. With 134 playful patterns to choose from, the mismatching could go on forever.

740 W. Boston Post Road, Suite 318

Mamoroneck, NY 10543

Tel: 415-465-7625

E-mail: jonah@littlemissmatched.com





DESIGNER: Chris Pegula

Wholesale prices: $26-$54.50

Great looking diaper bags for women are easy to find, but until dad of three, Chris Pegula came along with "Diaper Dude" there weren't many bags suitable for papas.

Outstanding Pieces: The handsome, chocolate brown, ultra-suede bag is hand-printed with a dragon and the words "Good Luck"; The "Peace Camo" in a deep green camouflage print is edged in bright orange and sports a peace symbol. Both bags are as practical as those designed for moms. Pegula's bags are just a little cooler.

1112 Montana Avenue, Suite 854

Santa Monica, CA 90403

Tel: 877-334-2737

E-mail: orders@diaperdude.com





DESIGNER: Buket Erdogan

Sizes: NB-8; Wholesale prices: $35-$75

No ones going to think Erdogan's Technicolor fur coats are anything but faux, and that's why they're such fun. With 21 bright-to-dark hues to choose from, there has to be at least one "must have" for your store. Each cotton and acrylic, hand-knitted coat is machine washable and the shine never fades.


Outstanding Piece: Courtney Love meets Pooh Bear. That's the rockin' yet cuddly feeling of Erdogan's coats.

297 Ninth Street, 2nd Fl.

Brooklyn, NY 11215

Tel: 718-832-7720

E-mail: info@honeybeeandme.com



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